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Independence Day Celebration


Last Edited: July 4, 2005, 12:15 pm

Seems appropriate to offer up some pittance of acknowledgement that this country has a history.  That we're a wide and varied people with lots of breadth in our views.  So here it is, folks.  What you've been waiting for.

Highlights of US history, plus some current stuff thrown in to keep you interested:

This flag flew at the little doodad/jewelry stands pulloff where I40 passes through the Laguna Rez a couple of years ago on the 4th.  It's a US flag with an NA on horseback waving a spear superimposed across the stripes. 

Maybe it was flown there to demonstrate the need for Americans to familiarize themselves with their history a bit more than  they're in a habit of doing.  The Laguna tribe hasn't fought anybody much except Navajos (between 1695 and 1865) and the occasional alley-brawl with an Acoma, between then and now.

But there you are.  History.


This proud structure was once the Headquarters for the Confederate Territorial Governor of the Territory of Arizona. 

It sits on the plaza in Mesilla remembering past the time when Billy the Kid used to make a nuisance of himself around here, remembering a time when most of the officers of the US Army serving in the West left their posts and went to Texas, then on home to serve the Confederacy in the East. 

A season or two later some of them returned with the Texas Mounted Rifles, which I'll tell you a bit more about.

This part of the ruin of old Fort Craig, guarding the passage up the Rio Grande.  Kit Carson and Canby were caught unready for the invasion of Texans here.... Canby, cunning mind he was, sawed some logs to appear to be artillery along the walls.... a lot of artillery.  Convinced Sibley, the Texas commander, he didn't want any of Fort Craig for the moment, so he bypassed it.


Measured in percentage of casualties of combattants on both sides, the second bloodiest battle of the Civil War was fought just at the foot of that black mesa.  US Army and NM Volunteers tried to keep the Texans from crossing the Rio Grande there, while a lot of the Texans were still struggling to get off the mesa.

They crossed.  This battle and Glorietta, further north, were the basis for the Civil War battle scene from the movie, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.


This model of maybe a Curtiss Jenny serves as a windsock at a little desert strip near Columbus, NM.  It's a reminder of the airplanes used in the fracas following an attack on the town of Columbus in 1912, by Pancho Villa.  Villa celebrated his success by doing a lot of killing and burning for three days, then the US Army chased him all across Northern Mexico using planes like this one for scouting.

A lot of complacent Americans aren't aware of it, but these robots are the only thing standing between them and an invasion of aliens from the planet something or other located in that cluster in the belt of Orion.  This little-known defence installation is located on the Plains of San Augustine, west of Magdalena.


This is happening while you sleep!

Happy Birthday America.






Entry #116


ToddComment by Todd - July 5, 2005, 9:58 am
AWESOME pix! I love that one of the contrail seemingly coming out of the dish. Amazing!

I had no idea about that civial war battle you referred to, very interesting. Also loved the Billy The Kid "proud structure".

Comment by Rip Snorter - July 5, 2005, 10:27 am
Thanks, Todd:
I used to post on a Civil War buffs db... lots of posters there were academians and historians. Mostly they didn't know much about the war in the west, either, didn't know a Confederate force occupied Tucson, didn't know the westernmost battle of the Civil War was fought 'way west in Arizona while Sibley was driving the territorial government out of Santa Fe, whipping the Union forces at Glorietta until Colorado Volunteers circled around behind him and burned his supply train, which began a rout back to Texas, those who made it.

I'm thinking sometime I might do some more blog entries about some of it. Occasionally someone still comes across the carcass of one of those Texans, digging a septic system or foundation for a house.

Yeah, I'm fairly proud of the con-trail/radio-telescope pic

Thanks for the comment
Comment by Rip Snorter - July 5, 2005, 10:32 am
Incidently, that picture of the Valverde battlefield site was taken from the sallieport gate at Fort Craig.... The guys left at Fort Craig almost certainly watched the smoke and thunder of that battle from there, probably didn't look a lot different before and after the battle than it does today.
ToddComment by Todd - July 5, 2005, 12:16 pm
Again, very interesting, and I would greatly enjoy hearing more about this topic. Thanks!

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